Cress by Marissa Meyer

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The third installment in Meyer’s re-imagined fairy tale series finds Cinder united with allies Scarlett and Wolf, still a fugitive from Earth and desperately trying to stop Queen Levana’s plans. This time, Cinder seeks help from a Lunar programmer, Cress, who has been trapped in an orbiting satellite for most of her life. But Cinder’s and Cress’ plans for escape and rebellion take a deadly turn, leaving the group in shambles. The rebels must find their way back to one another and rescue Emperor Kai before Levana’s plans come to fruition.

I LOVED this book! I wasn’t super enthused with the second book, Scarlet (mostly because I didn’t care for Scarlet that much), but this one was SO much better. Cress is just amazing! She’s funny, smart, and her lovesick obsession with Thorne is heartbreaking and cute at the same time. Definitely don’t miss this one if you’re a fan of the series!

Rating: 4.5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

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Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

Set in the perhaps not-so-distant Gulf Coast future, Nailer’s job is to strip beached shipwrecks of copper wiring and other valuables. A hot, dirty, extremely difficult life, Nailer’s job is only safe as long as he is small enough to crawl through a ship’s ducts – after that, he’s left to starve. One day, after a “city-killer” storm ravages Nailer’s beach, he and fellow crew member, Pima, discover a rich girl clinging to life in a wrecked, expensive, clipper ship. Nailer is faced with a choice: save the girl, or scavenge her for a profit.

What I liked best about this book was that I could totally see it happening. With the way our environment continues to deteriorate, it made complete sense that the Gulf would turn into a wasteland where old wrecks are harvested for valuable metals. I also thought that the significant class division — Nailer’s extremely poor class and the “Swank” upperclass — was believable. Aside from social commentary, Ship Breaker brings the action. Nailer is nearly always faced with a life or death decision, and must frequently choose between doing what’s right and what will make money. While at times the plot was predictable, it was an exciting read with a very creative dystopian/sci-fi setting. It also won the Printz!

*Printz Award Winner

*National Book Award Finalist

Rating: 3.5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here

Noggin by John Corey Whaley

NOGGIN. April 8, 2014

A terminally ill leukemia patient, Travis Coates elects to have his head cryogenically frozen in the hopes that he may one day find a body donor. Five years later, Travis is one of only two patients who successfully receive a head transplant, thus making him a healthy sixteen year old boy again. However, while to Travis it seems that time has stopped the day of the surgery, the rest of the world continued in his absence, and he finds that his five year “nap” has drastically changed his life.

I LOVED this book! Whaley’s first novel, Where Things Come Back (2011, and also reviewed on this blog) won the Printz, so I thought I’d give this one a shot. Best decision ever. All the characters are hilarious and easy to relate to, and the plot has a crazy amount of twists and turns. Whaley also tackles some pretty heavy issues — love, family, what it’s like to come back from the dead. You know, the usual. If you read (or are waiting to read) John Green’s Fault in Our Stars (2012), this one might be a good read for you. Travis has the unique perspective of narrating from the eyes of the grieved — that is, what it’s like to be the dead person, instead of the people sad about losing the dead person. Definitely not a story told every day. However, though it’s humorous, the book is never disrespectful. It gives you so much to think about, and you’ll be telling all your friends to read it next. If you’re an award watcher, keep your eye on this one. Noggin (and Whaley) is going places!

This one has a great book trailer! Click here to watch.

Rating: 5/5

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.